Super dumb question

All the parks in my neighborhood are groomed, and they double as soccer fields. That works well for unicycle. I understand that someone else’s definition of grass is going to be very different. My neighborhood has plenty of varied surfaces on which to ride: grass, dirt, cinder, loose gravel, sand, asphalt, concrete. This helped my learning.

Back to the Hatchet. We spend part of our summer on the shores of Table Rock Lake in SW Missouri. DaUniGuy coined a type of riding: “Gravel Bar” riding. The two of us went out once and tried it. Really difficult. Loose rocks, on average the size of a golf ball. Everything sliding around. Plenty of larger, jagged stuff to fall on.

I have my 29 x 2.6" muni at the lake. I had a few awkward falls on the 29" where the uni slid sideways and I went down onto my hip. That made me think that the 29" was too high for gravel bar riding. Also, the relatively narrow tire was sinking and slipping. So I wondered if a Hatchet frame, fit with a 24" fat tire (if that even exists), would be the optimal setup for gravel bar riding. People talk about larger wheels having better roll-over, but for this kind of riding, I’d like to be closer to the ground when it’s time to bail out.

Also, for gravel bar riding, having a tire with large surface area is more important than the compliance/squish in the tire. Adding a compliant tire to shifting gravel bars…seems like too much because the gravel is already compliant. I’d have to experiment with tire pressure with that setup, but I’m guessing I’d keep the tire at higher pressure.

Anyway, I don’t think my wife would be happy with me spending all that money for a niche riding experience. I was disappointed that a Hatchet 24" frame was not produced (though I assume it’s just fine putting a 24" wheel in a 26" frame.

They do exist.

Total diameter for 24in fatty is 26.5.
I could ride up a curb if i did a pre-bounce to help me up it.
I could do a 4x4 straight on.

When we went elpuebloUNIdo we were getting rain that time of year and it was pretty moist. That makes it tougher I was down last weekend and took my 19 equinox street and my 24 oracle muni and had a blast.

I went to EE access on flat creek (see link below) and the water was low, banks were dry and the Good Ol Boys had it packed down from their 4X4’s. I had a blast! Both Unis worked well. You will not get a long distance ride, more of session riding different areas. The locals get a kick out of it. Good place for a couple of attention whores like you and me to ride.LOL

Afterwards Flat creek is a pretty nice place to swim and enjoy a cold beer or a warm one for wobbling bear:D). Jenkins is a pretty nice place to ride as well.

I think a hatchet would be fine.

EE access

I’m not going to say you are wrong because you might know something I do not but it does not appear to me that the Hatchet isn’t selling. What are you basing this on?

If I head over to UDK UK it lists their best sellers on the landing page. Five different unicycles are shown. Four of them are cheap machines clearly aimed at beginners (24" Adult Trainer, 20" Hoppley Beginner, 20" Adult Trainer , 20" Club), with prices ranging from £60-£115 (€66.50-127.50 / $74-142) . That makes sense as a lot of people probably pick up a basic unicycle and never really progress past beginner, and this accounts for a very large percentage of sales.

The other best seller however, is clearly for people with more experience and ability. It is a 26" Nimbus Hatchet, priced at £600 (€665 / $740).

If this best seller list is to believed, the Hatchet is outselling all other fancy unicycles. Again… maybe it is wrong but without opposing evidence it would seem to me that the Hatchet is doing just fine.

The best seller list could also be artificially created to help sales. If people believe it’s a best seller and believe that a lot of people already bought it before them, it would definitely push sales.

From observing what people ride, I’d guess that the Oracle’s 27,5" / 29" or the Impact Reagent’s sales are a lot better than the Hatchet…

The reviews should more closely indicate how many were purchased. I can’t imagine that even 10% of unicyclists would own a hatchet.

Hatchets definetely are selling, you see them plenty on facebook and on events. And with them, you get no surprises: A fat unicycle, with the predictable characteristics.

  • They have high rolling resistance
  • They roll over roots and stuff comparatively effortlessly (provided you run a low-ish tire pressure, which you should, because that's the point of them)
  • They turn and accelerate slow
  • Advantage of turning and accelerating slowly is a feeling of stability
  • The tire acts as suspension for impacts from drops, but can have some weird bouncing characteristics.

With the fatties I’ve tested so far, I didn’t hit my knees on the frame on any of them, even though only one of them was a hatchet, and 3 were triton frames with a conventional frame design, so the frame wasn’t anything special for me. Some others have reportet it solving their issues with hitting legs on frame with fatties.

Regarding riding up curbs: If you can do it on a hatchet, you can probably do it on a regular tired unicycle too. Where fat tires shines especially is paths with lots of smaller roots and stones.

I personally think they are ugly as hell, but there is a crowd that absolutely loves the look of them. I guess it’s a similar crowd as the people I see riding fat bicycles in the city. I can see buying them for the functionality though (look at Malte showing fat tire advantages here: https://youtu.be/TSSpFzMbdUs?t=22 ).

If the tire is fat enough, it takes very little skill at all. :slight_smile: I recall my first time riding a uni with a 4" tire (this was like 15 years ago). There were no curbs handy at the Slickrock Trail parking lot, but riding the fine, soft sand out of the parking lot was like being on a sidewalk! On a “typical” Muni of the time, it required a lot of attention, and the tire might still dig in and stop.

While I would not be surprised if that list was a dead-on representation of sales (by category), one should not expect them to be that way. Especially on large company sites, like Amazon, Walmart, etc. They are usually aimed to steer you to what’s popular, but can also be steering you toward what has best profit margin…

Could be, but those are “ordinary” unicycles. Nothing can compete with the sales of beginner-type 20" and 24" unicycles though; those are possibly 90% or more of UDC’s whole-uni sales.

Reviews should indicate what people like. Sales figures represent something else. But yes, the hatchet doesn’t appeal to the average unicyclist; most unicycle riders own one unicycle, and it’s a 20" or 24". And they may not even know there’s something called Muni. :astonished:

Perhaps, but not as easily. But the Hatchet’s frame shape isn’t the reason, it’s the tire volume. More volume (with the correct pressure) wil make hitting bigger and bigger bumps easier.

They are definitely odd-looking, and I think that’s part of the attraction for a lot of buyers. Like a Hummer (link provided if you don’t know that name). Those were fugly SUV-truck things, that people paid a lot of money for at the time. And a lot more in fuel if they drove them.

The Hatchet is like a Hummer, or any over-the-top SUV, except instead of polluting the air, you get more of a workout from riding it. :slight_smile:

Funny cartoon about Hummers

I’ll admit that there could be other reasons why the Hatchet is listed as the only non-beginner best seller. Though I am doubtful that UDC (UK) would just fudge the list completely.

Another (possible) explanation being something like this. I recall some time back that the Hatchet was out of stock on some of the UDCs. It could be that a number of people were waiting for it to come back into stock and then when it arrived, lots of orders at the same time pushed the Hatchet into the best seller list (if for example, this best seller lists represents a short period, e.g. last week or month).

That said, being sold out for some time and having enough pent up orders to cause it to hit the top of the list, would still imply it is fairly popular. Additionally, I have yet to see evidence that it is not selling other than a single claim with no source.

If there is a good source to confirm that it is underselling, e.g. a comment from Roger Davies or others who would have actual numbers, then could someone point to it? Otherwise I will guess it was an invalid assumption.

“If there is a good source to confirm that it is underselling, e.g. a comment from Roger Davies or others who would have actual numbers, then could someone point to it? Otherwise I will guess it was an invalid assumption.”

As well… If there is a good source to confirm that it is selling, e.g. a comment from Roger Davies or others who would have actual numbers, then could someone point to it? Otherwise I will guess it was advertising manipulation.

Now just curious on my part.
Ruari, how many unicycles do you own?

From the smallest to the largest

  • 16" QU-AX Luxus (primarily for my kids to learn, one is attempting now. Though I have also had it in the office and used it to help colleagues to learn in a very confined space)
  • 24" URC Road Series 1
  • 26" Nimbus Muni
  • 28" Pashley
  • 29" QU-AX Muni (Ok, this is not really mine. It is on seemingly permanent loan from UniMyra. Though he is of course welcome to have it back any time he sees fit)
  • 36" UDC Trainer

The 26" and 36" account for 90%+ of my usage as these are the two I commute on daily. I probably use the 36" the most because of the speed advantage, particularly in summer (but sometimes use the 26" for variation, e.g. the last few days) and the the 26" almost exclusively last winter because of the bigger range of tyre options. My current favourite winter commuting tyre being a Kenda Klondike XT 26"x2.35. Though if the snow is uncleared (and there is little to no exposed ice) the Duro Wildlife actually works quite well in the winter as well.

The 24" is new, but already the next most used. I use it to play around and try out stuff, also for travel (I took it to the US recently). I have commuted on it but it is a little slow.

P.S. If I could only have one it would be the 26" Nimbus Muni. I can get a decent speed on it and it is the most flexible for my usage because of the wheel size (leading to lots of tyre possibilities) and I love my VCX+ 3-holed cranks. Though I would really miss the special feel of the 36".

If it was advertising manipulation would you expect the people doing it to admit they did? :thinking:

That is sort of my point anyway. I have a level of trust in UDC UK based on experience with the team. The best seller list is a source of information from a party I consider fairly reputable. Perhaps it is flawed but it is something. slamdance just suggested it did not sell with no evidence of any kind. Now he could still be correct and know something I don’t but if that is true I would love to hear his data point(s).